News and Events Archive 2012

New Trees in Oscar Tugo Circle

Did you notice the new trees at the intersection of Avenue Louis Pasteur and Longwood? 

There are seven new raised tree pits, beautiful Elm trees, and hydrangea shrubs. Why? 

Arborists, soil experts and landscape architects worked together to solve the mystery of why trees kept dying in this location (up to four times in one pit). After extensive testing, the answer was found: too much salt from winter snow removal and eight inches of compacted soils from pedestrian activity kept water and air from getting to the roots. The solution was simple: raise the tree pits to keep salt from accumulating in the pit, and keep pedestrians from walking across the soil. 

MASCO signed a maintenance agreement with the City to care for this property a couple of decades ago. With City approval, irrigation and healthy soils were added, tree pits were pulled back from the road, and the tree species was changed from Linden to disease-resistant Elm. Elms were popular as majestic street trees at the turn of the 20th century, and are historically appropriate in the way they frame the view of the 1906 Beaux Arts Harvard Medical School (HMS) quadrangle, as well as how they relate to adjacent Vanderbilt Hall, and Brigham’s Boston Lying-In building.

A design, funded by MASCO and created by CDM/Smith, changed the rounded ‘keyhole’ pits to raised pits with granite curbing. Following review by abutters and City approval, MASCO hired Cambridge Landscaping to install the improvements. Phase I was installed prior to the HMS graduation, and Phase II completed in early July 2012. We thank Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women’s Hospital for generously funding this highly visible $100,000 improvement. These trees are an important investment that, with luck, will grow and frame this historic Avenue for the next century.


MASCO Welcomes Associate Member Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
New Surgical Outpatient Center opens in Longwood/Mission Hill

Massachusetts Eye and Ear, along with the Beal Companies, LLP, today celebrated the grand opening of its new outpatient surgical facility at 800 Huntington Avenue in the Longwood/Mission Hill area of Boston. The location will provide access to Mass. Eye and Ear’s world-class physicians and surgeons, and outpatient services. The facility is expected to open to patients in November.

The 90,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, which is owned and was developed by The Beal Companies, houses four operating rooms and allows easy and comfortable access for patients with convenient parking. The building is also home to the most advanced ophthalmology (eye care) clinical space and physician offices.  Ear, nose and throat services will be added in the future.

Designed by architects at Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, the facility creates a welcoming environment for patients and staff, with special considerations for those with visual impairment. The building’s interior includes high-contrast colors on walls and furnishings to facilitate way-finding for visually impaired patients. Sustainable and environmentally friendly materials were used in the building’s construction. The floor plan also maximizes access to daylight by locating public waiting rooms, corridors and staff lounges near exterior windows.

The location includes an optical shop on the first floor, where Mass. Eye and Ear opticians will provide services. Inventory will include eyeglasses for both adults and children. The first floor also includes a coffee shop.  Both resources are open to Mass. Eye and Ear patients and to members of the community.

“Massachusetts Eye and Ear has a long history of excellent clinical care and innovative research,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “Today I applaud this great institution for working closely with the Mission Hill neighborhood to bring critical specialized services to the community.”

“The opening of our new outpatient surgical facility means we’ll be able to provide more access to our specialized care for those who need our services,” said John Fernandez, President and CEO of Mass. Eye and Ear. We’re creating good healthcare jobs and bringing world-class Mass. Eye and Ear care to this community. We’re looking forward to collaborating with neighboring hospitals in the Longwood area to provide top-notch patient care and advance clinical research initiatives.”

“We’re delighted to have been able to work with Mass. Eye and Ear and the community to build a facility such as this, which is so important to the City of Boston,” said Robert L. Beal, President of The Beal Companies. 
Preparing to cut the ribbon: (Pictured L to R): Peter Longley, Director of Operations, Tsoi/Kobus & Associates; Peter Meade, Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority; John Fernandez, President & CEO, Mass. Eye and Ear; Dr. Joan Miller, Mass.Eye and Ear Chief of Ophthalmology & Harvard Medical School Chair of Ophthalmology; Robert Beal, President, The Beal Companies, LLP; Michael Ross, Boston City Council, District 8; Wyc Grousbeck, Chairman of the Board, Mass. Eye and Ear; and Jeffrey Sanchez, Mass. State Representative.  (Photo by Eric Antoniou Photography)


Beverage Container Recycling Hits the StreetsNew LMA Outdoor Recycling Bins

Did you know that recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to charge a phone for a month and a half? The LMA now has ten new outdoor recycling bins, designed to accept cans as well as glass and plastic bottles. LMA institutions already have successful recycling programs inside their buildings and this new program fills a gap by allowing people to recycle on the go.

The new recycling bins can only accept empty bottles and cans. Paper, coffee cups and other waste must go into the accompanying trash bins. The bins were installed by MASCO, with abutting institutions emptying them and disposing of the recycling materials.

Find an outdoor recycling bin.


Look Up in the LMA!
The next time you are on Brookline Avenue, between the Riverway and Joslin - Look Up!

MASCO created a hanging basket program to make the LMA more attractive. The baskets add color and greenery to areas where street trees cannot be planted due to utilities underground or buildings that overhanging the sidewalk. The colorful profusion of flowers and greenery help soften the edges of the urban environment. This summer 2012 pilot project was funded by MASCO, and will come down in early October. We are already planning for next summer.


Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Classes

Free for women affiliated with Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA) institutions.

Classes are held at Children’s Hospital – 1 Autumn Street Building.

Next Class:
Monday, September 10, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012

All classes run from 6:30pm-9:30pm

For questions or for more information please contact Tucker Husband at 617-632-2739.


 

Bright Horizons Family Center at Landmark - Enrolling for Fall 2012

The Bright Horizons Family Center at Landmark provides enrollment priority and a tuition discount to MASCO employees of participating members - Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

The center is currently enrolling for Fall, 2012 and has selected openings for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years on a full-time or part-time basis.  Please call 617-450-0790 to arrange a visit and meet our faculty. Come see how this center will help your child(ren) learn, discover and grow.


MASCO Parking Services Transition

MASCO will transition to a new vendor for parking management and operations at all of our shared-parking locations, effective July 1st. VPNE Parking Solutions, Inc. (VPNE), a well-established and highly regarded provider, was selected as the preferred vendor following a rigorous RFP process on the basis of competitve pricing and a clear focus on customer service. VPNE is familiar to many of you, since they already provide services to a number of our members.

Both VPNE and Standard Parking have approached this transition in a thorough and professional manner, and we fully expect that things will go smoothly. We also want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to Standard Parking for their 17 years of service to us.

If you have any qustions or concerns regarding any of these changes, please contact David Eppstein (617-632-2860).


 

LMA Gets Road Striping Refresh

In June, MASCO, with the cooperation of it members, completed a street restriping program. Over the spring, Area Planning’s construction coordinator Del Mandawe collaborated with members to identify the crosswalks, center lines, and directional graphics that were most in need of repair on city streets. Locations along Longwood Avenue, Brookline Avenue, and the Riverway were flagged due the high volumes of day-to-day traffic. After closer investigation, several side streets such as Fenwood Road and Short Street were also selected for remarking.

Over several nights, a contractor crew installed 10,560 linear feet of thermoplastic lines, including 28 crosswalks, 10 directional arrows and 8 “ONLY” graphics. The purpose of the program is to make the streets safer for drivers and pedestrians alike by increasing the visibility of crosswalks and lane markings.


Bike Week 2012

2012 brought another successful Bike Bay State Bike Week (May 14-20) to the LMA. The State bills this week as “an annual celebration of human-powered, two-wheeled transportation.” Working with our members and MassDOT, CommuteWorks works hard to promote Bike Week. This year we held a raffle for memberships to the City’s Hubway, bikeshare program, we hosted a Bike Breakfast on MASCO’s plaza with free bike tune-ups and assisted our members by manning tables at promotional events with giveaways such as Bike Week T-shirts and towels.

Bike Week is an opportunity for our member institutions to compete with other similar sized organizations in the Statewide MassCommute Bicycle Challenge. To participate, employees register and log the number of miles they will travel during the week. Thanks to all of our members’ hard work, this year, 739 LMA employees pledged a total of 25,299 miles, a record for the LMA. When the results came in, six LMA institutions placed in the top two in their respective size categories: In the over 5,000 employee category, Boston Children’s Hospital won first place and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center came in second. In the 3,000 to 5,000 employee category Dana-Farber Cancer Institute placed first. Harvard’s Longwood Campus came first in the 1,000-4,999 employee category and Emmanuel College also took home first place in the 1-999 category. Merck Boston placed second in the 100 to 499 employee category. In overall miles pledged, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was awarded first place with an impressive 6,543 miles and Boston Children’s Hospital won third, with 5,259 miles. The following week, winners were acknowledged at the Bike Bash at Flat Top Johnny’s Bar and Grill in Kendall Square which included a raffle of bike equipment from event sponsors. The LMA came out on top again, with Jim Smith, Department Manager of Parking and Commuter Services at Boston Children’s Hospital wining the top prize: a brand new bike!


Longwood Medical Area Child Care Center Celebrates 30th Anniversary

On June 12th, 2012, 300-400 parents, children (alumni and attending), and supporters of the Longwood Medical Area Child Care Center gathered to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Adults and children alike enjoyed Coop’s Scoops ice cream sundaes under tents set up in the courtyard. Special events included face-painting, water-based tattoos, spin art stations, and a memory slideshow. “The event was a great success,” said Director Margie Dumas. “Everybody was very pleased with the special activities and loved that it was held right here at the Center.” Many parents commented on what an important impact the LMACCC has had on their lives. For all those involved, the afternoon was a wonderful way to celebrate the Child Care Center’s positive presence in the LMA.


The 2012 Annual Bay State Bike Week is taking place May 14 – May 20 and once again CommuteWorks is happy to offer special events just for Longwood area bike commuters. 

 Register Today at http://masscommuterchallenge.org/register and show your support for bike commuting in the LMA. All Longwood area registrants will receive great prizes and have the opportunity to participate in the events below.

MassCommute Bicycle Challenge:
The Challenge is a friendly competition amongst Massachusetts businesses and educational institutions in which employees and students support their work or school by pledging to bike at least once during Bike Week. Participation is FREE and open to anyone who lives, works or attends school in Massachusetts!

Bike Commuting Workshop:
On Monday May 14 at 12:00 PM, Boston Cyclist Union will host a general bike commuting clinic for the LMA community at the Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund Auditorium. This fast-paced, one-hour workshop covers topics ranging from bike choice, gear choice, route planning, safety, rules of the road and other general tips and tricks. There will also be a half hour Q&A session following the clinic.

Annual LMA Bike Week Breakfast:
On Thursday May 17, swing by 375 Longwood Avenue from 8:00 - 9:30 AM on your bike ride to work for some free Brueggers Bagels and to pick up your free 2012 Bike Week T-shirt! Boston Cyclist Union bike technicians will be on hand this year providing free bike inspections.

Bike Week Bash: 
On Wednesday May 23, 5:30-7:30PM we will be once again be hosting the annual Bike Week Bash at Flattop Johnny’s (One Kendall Square, Cambridge). Enjoy some free food and billiards while mingling with other Boston area bike commuters. We will also be raffling off great biking prizes to people who attend. 
The Bike Bash is FREE and open to all Bike Week participants. Secure bike parking will also be available. 


New Electric Vehicle Charging Station at the MASCO Garage

MASCO is pleased to announce the arrival of our new electric vehicle charging station, located at the 375 Longwood Avenue Garage. Funding for this Coulomb dual-charging unit was made possible through a City of Boston grant, with installation support and technical assistance provided by Voltrek.

“EVE” (Electric Vehicle Energizer) is equipped with two charging docks and can deliver a full charge in 4 hours. This station is located on level P2 and will be operational 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. You simply park your electric vehicle anywhere in the garage, go to the garage office to register/leave your keys with the garage attendant, and we take care of the rest*.

The charging service is free for monthly parkers. Other parkers pay only the applicable daily parking rate for the time they are in the garage.

*Please note charging is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

We hope you’ll get a “charge” out of EVE!


Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Course: Spring Classes

Free for women affiliated with Longwood Medical and Academic area (LMA) institutions.

Classes are held at Children’s Hospital – 1 Autumn Street Building.  

  Next Class:
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 6pm-9pm
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6pm-9pm
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 6pm-9pm
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 6pm-9pm

For questions or for more information please contact Tucker Husband at 617-632-2739.


This letter appeared in the Boston Globe

Economy depends on healthy MBTA

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | letters | a fare solution?

February 22, 2012

AS THE MBTA tries to resolve its budget crisis, it’s critical to remember that public transit’s role goes beyond moving people. It is vital in meeting the Commonwealth’s key goals: economic development, environmental sustainability, access to jobs, services, and schools, as well as reducing strain on roads.

Employers in the Longwood medical and academic area — where more than 40,000 people work — strongly support public transit. Employees here purchase $19 million in MBTA passes annually; more than half are subsidized by hospitals and colleges to encourage ridership.

With the highest debt of any transit authority in the country, with more than half due to Big Dig-related projects that the MBTA has had to assume, a financial solution is needed that should be statewide. And it cannot be borne solely by transit riders and employers, unless we want to jeopardize our economy, environment, and roads.

Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd


Excerpted  from  February 28, 2012

MASCO Tackles Transit Trauma by Susan Diesenhouse

Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, CEO of MASCO (The Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, planners for the Longwood Medical and Academic Area), is working the phones to ensure that robust transportation networks continue to serve one of the region’s most economically dynamic and densely developed districts. About 44,000 clinicians, educators, researchers, and administrators work in the 200-acre area with 17 real estate projects proposed or under way. But Marilyn tells us that the MBTA budget woes and other transportation funding shortfalls threaten to undermine decades of transit-oriented development. Transportation officials are drawing big crowds as they hold public hearings (through March 6) to discuss service cuts and fare hikes to close this year's $161M shortfall. MASCO is urging the governor and lawmakers to find a long-term, statewide solution.

We snapped MASCO's Kate Hewitt with the office bike, a highly prized mode of transit in the LMA. For 20 years, Marilyn says that MASCO has encouraged alternatives to driving alone: car pools, shuttle buses, free bikes, and taxi vouchers for emergencies. Since 2000, the number of LMA workers driving solo has declined 13% (to 34%) and those taking public transit rose 5% (to 44%). But a recently completed survey of LMA workers found that MBTA fare hikes and service cuts would lead to as many as 5,000 more cars coming into the crowded LMA daily. (Only morning-drive radio shows must think this is a good thing.) Marilyn tells us that service cuts could be crippling to Longwood, which is busy 24/7 providing medical care and conducting cutting-edge research.

Tom Yardley and Ulla Hester study a map of the LMA where the developments under way have been designed with the assumption that the area would be served by buses, subway, and commuter rail connecting with far-off suburbs. For instance, under construction is the $169M Children’s Hospital Binney Building (aka Skinny Binney), a nearly 80k SF addition to Children’s due to deliver 36 new patient beds in ’13. The Dana Farber Cancer Institute expects to start construction in April on the Dana building, nearly 70k SF of clinical offices and research space.

Janice Henderson, Jon Lundell, and Laura Fogerty consider LMA projects like the $300M Longwood Center being developed by National Development. (At first glance, we thought it was an awesomely large game of Chutes and Ladders.) A long time coming, it will be only the third building in the LMA not owned by an institution. Last month, National started site prep on the 350k SF lab, office, and clinical facility, which includes ground-floor retail and parking for 290 cars. Meanwhile, Brigham & Women’s Hospital is creating a new half-acre green space with a 400-car garage underneath to compensate for buildings without parking. Marilyn says that even with all of the LMA’s development, the state needs to find new revenue sources to properly maintain the entire transportation network (including roadways) for Longwood to continue to be a vital economic engine.

Susan Diesenhouse


Wheelock Family Theatre at Wheelock College is currently presenting The Wizard of Oz, based upon the classic motion picture from 1939 starring Judy Garland. This version was adapted for the stage by John Kane of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and contains all of the wonderful and timeless songs from the movie including the much-loved tune, Somewhere Over the Rainbow. L. Frank Baum first published his adventurous tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in 1900. For over a century this story continues to delight the imaginations of both young and old. This production by Wheelock Family Theatre will surely bring back memories of when you first where introduced to this iconic tale.

Pictured:  Timothy John Smith as the Cowardly Lion.  Photo by Tony Paradiso

The Wizard of Oz runs through February 26. Performances take place on Fridays at 7:30pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm. There will be a special Saturday evening performance on February 25th, and additional 1pm matinee performances during school vacation week. Wheelock Family Theatre is located at 180 The Riverway. Visit www.WheelockFamilyTheatre.org to get more information and to learn about upcoming productions. See you at the theatre!


Grant for Car Charging Stations in the MASCO Garage

Car charging stations are coming to the LMA! Working with the City of Boston, MASCO has won grant funding for Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) stations – enhanced parking spaces that allow owners of electric vehicles to charge their cars during visits to the LMA. The Operations Department will locate them in highly visible and well signed spaces in the 375 Longwood garage. We hope to encourage employees and visitors to consider new technologies and to support employees who are already using this option for clean, efficient transportation.

Our grant application highlighted both our willingness to subsidize the stations and our strong collaborative relationships between Boston Transportation Department (BTD) and our members. Thanks to the members of our Area Planning team for their continued work with the Boston Transportation Department to identify creative ways to support the transportation needs of our members.

Our member institutions already do a great deal to support energy efficiency and environmentally friendly behaviors and MASCO is proud to play a role in coordinating some of those efforts so they can occur in an efficient, effective and cost sensitive manner.

Photo Credit: Coulomb Technologies, Inc.